Purpose: Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) for Peyronie's disease is still a topic of debate. We evaluated the effects of ESWT in a large series of patients with Peyronie's disease via a prospective approach.
Materials and methods: In a prospective study 114 patients with Peyronie's disease were treated with ESWT. Baseline and followup examinations included ultrasound, and measurement of plaque size and curvature. Symptomatology was evaluated based on a standardized interview. A Minilith SL1 (Storz Medical AG, Kreuzlingen, Switzerland) lithotriptor was used with 4,000 shock waves at a maximum energy level of 0.17 mJ/mm2 applied per session.
Results: A total of 96 patients were available for followup. Considering the total study group no significant changes in penile curvature, plaque size or sexual function were observed despite significant improvements in patients with a curvature of 31 to 60 degrees. Penile pain ceased in 76% of the affected patients.
Conclusions: According to our data ESWT does not appear to be significantly effective for decreasing penile curvature and plaque size or improving sexual function in the total population of patients with Peyronie's disease despite improvements in individuals. Penile pain seems to resolve earlier than during the natural course. Regarding the results of this study and previous reports with exact documentation of the clinical findings it can be concluded that ESWT cannot be recommended as a standard procedure for Peyronie's disease. To evaluate the exact efficacy of ESWT a controlled, single-blind, multicenter study with exact documentation of symptoms is urgently required.